Katherine Johnson Interview

Katherine Johnson's first novel, Pescador's Wake, has just been published by HarperCollins. It concerns Patagonian toothfish and a real-life chase of an illegal fishing boat in the treacherous high seas near Antarctica. The author is interviewed in "The Courier-Mail" by Fiona Purdun.

"The conditions are so extreme, with the storms and icebergs, the Southern Ocean is one of the most dangerous spots in the world," she says.

"It's like another world down there and people are risking their lives for the sake of fishing. I was wondering what personal dramas prompted them and this played on my mind.

"What motivates Australians to go to such lengths to protect the seas and be prepared to take on such danger? What's it like to be on board one of these boats, what's it like to be back on shore.

"It's such a dangerous way of making a living especially when many people on these illegal vessels are poorly paid."

Johnson looked over an apprehended fishing boat,Taruman, which was docked at Hobart as part of her research. She also interviewed long-time fisherman Martin Exel because even though it is a fictional story she "felt an obligation to make sure it was credible and accurate with what it's like to fish on the Southern Ocean".

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 12, 2009 11:02 AM.

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